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SAMA Welcomes Visions of Victory Presented by Mutual of Omaha
Harold E. “Doc” Edgerton, Golf Drive by Densmore Shute, 1938, Palm Press, Inc.

SAN ANTONIO.- Just in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, San Antonio will host a large scale retrospective of iconic sports photography. Photography and sports have evolved hand-in-hand for more than 100 years. The idea of stopping time — glimpsing motion itself in its infinite forms — applies equally to viewing athletics and to creating photographic images. The two worlds, those of the athlete and the photographer, come together in the special exhibition Visions of Victory Presented by Mutual of Omaha, on view at the Cowden Gallery of the San Antonio Museum of Art through August 17, 2008.

Visions of Victory gathers more than 100 images from around the world by such acknowledged masters of the photographic medium as William Henry Jackson (1843-1942, one of America’s foremost frontier photographers and artists), Annie Leibovitz (an American photographer known for her images of celebrities including political figures, musicians, actors, and athletes), and David Burnett (a globetrotting photojournalist recently named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photo Magazine). These renowned artists are presented along with lesser known and anonymous photographers whose lenses have captured some of the greatest moments in sports history.

Featured sports include auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, cycling, dirt biking, diving, figure skating, football, golf, gymnastics, harness racing, ice hockey, kayaking, rowing, sailing, soccer, steeplechase, swimming, tennis, thoroughbred racing, track and field, and wrestling, among others.

Visions of Victory was initially organized for presentation at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta — a tribute to the 100-year celebration of the games and the era of sports photography. It also marked a new direction in the art of photographic presentation through the use of Iris technology. The prints comprising the show are created digitally from original images by scanning slides or prints with high-resolution equipment and then altering or “retouching” them with computer technology, using a special monitor. Once the images have been corrected to conform to their original states, they are printed on the large, rotating drum of a Scitex printer. Each infinitesimal molecule of the ink’s placement on the paper is determined by a computer program taken from the original scan. The Iris process is capable of rendering subtle black-and-whites in literally millions of separate hues. The works in this exhibition are printed with fine-art, archival inks that will last as long as, or longer than, even the most stable photographic prints.

For Visions of Victory, the San Antonio Museum of Art will be partnering with the San Antonio Sports Foundation to honor our local Olympians and engage new audiences throughout the community and the region.

On Thursday, June 12, SAMA will co-host a reception with the Sports Foundation and sponsored by Mutual of Omaha for SAMA Society-level members and above, local Olympians and San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame members, and the Board of Directors of the Sports Foundation.

“Sports and art can both be expressions of creative excellence,” said Sports Foundation Executive Director Dr. Susan Blackwood. “We are pleased to share the opportunity to promote this inspiring exhibit to our friends in San Antonio’s sports and fitness community.” Olympian Josh Davis will speak at the reception.

Local photographer John Dyer will give a gallery talk on June 17 describing how the advent of photography, made it possible to observe and document the beauty of human movement, especially in sports, in a fundamentally new way. A fun-filled Family Day covering the basics of photography is planned for Sunday, August 3, and the SAMA and Sports Foundation staff will be working closely together this summer to create more sports and photography-related events, so check the web site,, frequently!

Visions of Victory Presented by Mutual of Omaha is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha and circulated by Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska. Additional support has been provided by The Edouard Foundation and the Sue E. Denman Memorial Fund. A catalogue is available in the SAMA Store.

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